If there’s one thing that’s true about us in the Western world, it’s that actually having to visit a hospital in real life absolutely terrifies us. But man, do we love watching them on TV!
Welcome to Emily Owens, M.D., the newest drama about the medical world to hit our screens. While pilots are typically a shaky, sometimes awkward business, I have to say that this pilot felt solid to me, and I’m glad. There’s a reason we like hospital shows: the opportunities for drama, for miracles, for touching displays of humanity are unparallel. And you see, I really was quite the Grey’s Anatomy fan back in the day, but it jumped the shark for me a long time ago. I traumatize easily, and I was traumatized just one too many times. No offense to anyone who still watches! I just know the limits of my fragile disposition. It’s a bummer for me really, because I’ve missed all the really good lesbian stuff!
But what I really do miss were the early days of Grey’s, where you had the intense patient storylines splashed between real funny, quirky, relatable stuff with the cast, and while at not exactly the same level, that’s the enjoyable mixture it seems we have with Emily Owens, M.D. So don’t mess it up, writers!
We meet our protagonist in the opening scene as she jeers a snarky high school student, always the way to start your day off right. The school which the student is sitting in front of, by the way, is apparently situated directly across the street from a huge hospital. So when you get alcohol poisoning from the flasks you sneak into prom, you can just walk across the street to get your stomach pumped! Good thinkin’, Denver!
The jeering of the high school kid allows Emily to relive her own incredibly uncool past, and as she bumbles into the Gleaming Palace Hospital, it seems she really is pretty dorky. Seriously though, have you guys visited hospitals that look like this? Is this hospital for the 1%? Or am I just really out of touch with hospitals?
We then meet the rest of the core cast of characters in quick succession. There’s Will, King of Emily’s Heart, and then there’s Cassandra, That Evil Nemesis From High School Who Will Not Stop Following You, and most important of all, Tyra, New Best Buddy Who’s Also a Lesbo. And how I already love Tyra!
Not only is she lovely and adorable, but she comes out with her love for the ladies almost immediately. Turns out she’s the daughter of the chief resident, but she assures Emily that this does not win her points, as her dad is not really her biggest fan. “He wanted a son, and got a lesbian instead.”
A few scenes later, she then persuades Emily to find out whether a chick she’s been eyeing is on the gay spectrum or not. Emily stutters in response, but Tyra is all, you owe me! Because she found Emily’s pager for her, and losing your pager on the first day of being an intern is not a good move. Interns, right? Also, I don’t really understand how pagers work being that they’re pagers and I live in the modern world, but they always seem able to relay a crap ton of information on their tiny screens on these shows. It normally goes like this: Pager: BEEP BEEP. Person: “Oh my God! Mr. Roger’s left lung just collapsed and his toe fell off and he’s going septic and he also says he’s bored and wants me to pick up some pizza on the way.” Is there something magic about these tiny pager screens?
Emily has already established that she’s awkward Sally unless there’s a medical emergency on hand, in which case she knows every single medical factoid ever and snaps into action like a super genius–oh, she also saved a girl’s life within her first ten minutes of being an intern, it’s cool. So she saunters up to Maybe Gay Girl for Tyra. As in Grey’s, we also get to hear a lot of Emily’s inner monologues, although they are markedly less raspy and more frazzled than Meredith Grey’s. She chants to herself to “be casual, be casual” as she starts her lesbian inquiry, which ends up being the funniest moment of the episode. They exchange a painfully horrible banter about what people do on the weekends around here which is only painful because it’s the boring kind of conversation that people actually engage in in workplaces all the time and they’re the worst. Emily manages to make her way to this gem though: “Speaking of bars! Do you go to straight ones or gay ones?” Best way to find out if someone is gay ever! Delivery is perfect!